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Match Previews

Palace Preview: Palace seek late Christmas present v West Ham

24 December 2019

So, Christmas Day will have passed and the country will have slowed down for the festive period come Thursday. But for the respective Crystal Palace and West Ham United squads, work will have just begun.

An injury-hit Palace side will be in strong pursuit of a late present this year, hoping to defeat the Hammers for the second time this season.

On their visit east to London Stadium in October, the Eagles overcame their hosts with a dramatic 2-1 victory, sealed by a Jordan Ayew goal in the dying minutes which saw VAR overturn the on-field decision to disallow the forward’s effort.

This Boxing Day clash will be another tough challenge, however, with West Ham buoyed by two wins from their last four matches after a torrid spell beforehand.

One of their victories came against Chelsea as Aaron Cresswell netted minutes into the second-half to record one of the season’s most striking results. Losses to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal followed before the Hammers slipped past Southampton with another 1-0 win.

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Since then, due to their game with Liverpool having been postponed, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have enjoyed a near-two week break.

The same cannot be said for Palace, who had to endure a lengthy trip to Newcastle on Saturday. Returning empty handed, the Eagles were inhibited by a host of injuries to their squad - most notably in defence.

SEE ALSO: Do you know these top 6 Premier League facts about West Ham?

The spate of medical difficulties saw three Development players named on the bench but not called upon for match action. One of the three was Sam Woods, who has played competitive football twice for the first-team.

The other two, James Daly and Brandon Pierrick, have not featured in a professional game for Palace, but could potentially make the squad again for the West Ham clash.

Should either Daly or Pierrick play against the Hammers, they will be the first Eagle to make their debut on Boxing Day since 2001, when defender Scott Gooding earned a solitary appearance in red and blue. Overall, they would be the 10th player in Palace history to earn a Boxing Day debut after Arthur Wilson, George Woodger, Harry Collyer, Cliff Holton, David Burnside, Alan Pinkney, Rudi Hedman and Gooding.

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Team news

Palace are suffering defensively due to injuries, with Gary Cahill and Jeffrey Schlupp still sidelined.

Scott Dann was unavailable to face Newcastle United on Saturday and Roy Hodgson confirmed the centre-back will be out of action over Christmas, though the team is boosted by Mamadou Sakho’s return from suspension.

Joel Ward will be sidelined for the coming weeks and Andros Townsend is also unavailable.

Hodgson has not mentioned any fresh injury concerns.

West Ham are also currently burdened by injury, though Pellegrini revealed goalkeepers Lukasz Fabianski and David Martin are fighting to be fit in time for the Boxing Day match.

Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson are confirmed to have returned, though Jack Wilshere and Winston Reid are unavailable.

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Tactical overview

West Ham have recently switched to a 4-4-2 formation, having previously opted for 4-1-4-1 typically. The transition appears to be bearing fruit - with the Hammers’ looking a far improved team.

One man the Eagles will be keen to keep an eye on is Pablo Fornals - the summer signing having claimed three assists in his last four matches.

Did you know?

The team scoring first hasn’t won any of the last five league meetings between Palace and West Ham (D3 L2), with the Eagles coming from behind to win in the last clash.

How to follow

Palace Audio

Palace supporters all over the world can listen to live audio commentary of every Palace fixture in the 2019/20 season for as little as £1 per game on the official club app, mobile internet or on desktop.

Fans can buy a Monthly Pass (which auto-renews) at £4.49 per month or a 24-Hour Pass (for a single matchday) for £1.49, by clicking here

Find out more about Palace Audio here

Social media

You can check out our Instagram story for eye-catching footage of all of the pre-match build-up and our official Twitter page will be bringing you up-to-the-minute match updates, stunning photos and more.

The official app

The official Palace app’s match centre is the place to be for everything you need during the West Ham clash. With live stats and alerts, a running match commentary feed and lineups the moment they’re released as well as all an instant match report and post-match reaction from Palace TV, there’s no need to leave the app to follow the Eagles’ efforts.

Download our app for free here!

International fans

For fans following from abroad, have a look at our Worldwide TV Listings here. And if you're wondering where the nearest official fan club is to you, you can click here to find out.

Did you know you can become an International Member from just £45 and receive benefits such as guaranteed tickets for any home league game and exclusive live Palace TV streams for selected games? You can - by buying here!

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